Tag Archives: Mitch McConnell

McConnell: hypocrite in chief

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I will spare you the various and assorted nicknames that have been plastered onto U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

He stands before me now as the government’s premier hypocrite. The hypocrite to end all hypocrites. The man who gives hypocrisy a bad name.

I know that he’s far from alone in the hypocrite cabal. Government is full of them. And yes, both parties have their share of hypocrites.

However, the Kentucky Republican is relishing in his hypocrisy. The man who stiffed President Obama from filling a Supreme Court seat because he didn’t want to do in an election year is ramrodding a Donald Trump pending selection to probable confirmation … in an election year!

The difference? Obama is a Democrat; Trump is a Republican.

And yet the hypocrite in chief blames Democrats for “playing politics” with the federal judiciary. Excuse me while I puke!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had the bad form to die less than 50 days prior to the next presidential election. That hasn’t stopped McConnell from unleashing his partisan hounds.  He vows to get a nominee confirmed before the election.

Oh, what about that presidential election year taboo? Well, that was then. Principle doesn’t apply when there is a partisan political advantage to be explored.

Dang, I almost wish I could move to Kentucky to campaign actively against this clown’s re-election. That won’t happen. I will have to rely on this blog to vent my rage at the way this guy manipulates the levers of power to his maximum political advantage.

Maybe I should admire how this guy can do this. I would, except that his ends all work at cross purposes with my own world view. I do not want Donald Trump to nominate a third justice to the Supreme Court. He is going to select some far right-wing ideologue … while pretending to agree with whatever judicial philosophy guides her.

And this is being brought to bear by the hypocrite in chief.

This, I suggest, gives us all the reason in the world to vote Donald Trump out of office.

Due diligence anyone … anyone?

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Who needs due diligence when you have a power-hungry hypocrite in charge of a U.S. Senate confirmation process?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course. Due diligence is as important as it always is when considering whom to seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. That ain’t stopping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from unleashing the confirmation hounds on a nominee Donald Trump intends to send to the Senate upon the death of the iconic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Let’s see how this goes. The presidential election is 46 days away. Trump hasn’t yet pitched a name at the Senate. He will do so quickly, or so we are led to believe. McConnell said the Senate will receive the nominee’s name, the Judiciary Committee will conduct a hearing and then the Senate will vote on the nominee … before we decide the presidency and before we decide who sits in the Senate!

How in the name of legislative due diligence is that supposed to happen?

Two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, say the Senate should wait until after the election. Yeah … do ya think?

A number of Republicans might lose on Election Day. Martha McSally of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Collins, and possibly even McConnell in Kentucky are prime targets for defeat. How does a lame-duck Senate session vote, therefore, on a Supreme Court nominee when several of the body’s members won’t be there to stand before their constituents?

Let us not forget how McConnell stonewalled President Obama’s pick to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia in early 2016, with McConnell saying that the president didn’t have the right to make an appointment during an election year. We’ve got that now, only magnified by an untold factor given the closeness of the next election!

Back to my point: How also does a Senate do the kind of due diligence required to thoroughly examine the quality of the person nominated by the president to serve as a member of nation’s highest court?

My view is that it cannot. The Senate must not steamroll a nominee to the Supreme Court in a fashion that screams political expediency.

Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy is on full and inglorious display.

He sickens me.

Honor RBG’s ‘most fervent wish’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

So it was stated by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a note she dictated to her granddaughter just a few days before her death.

I am saddened beyond measure to hear of Justice Ginsburg’s death. It was not a surprise, given her lengthy bout with cancer. However, her passing now sets up a political battle the likes of which we have seen.

I am having trouble wrapping my noggin around all the ramifications. To wit:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Donald Trump will be able to get a Senate vote on the person he nominates to succeed Ginsburg. But wait! He said the opposite in 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia died. President Obama wouldn’t get a Senate hearing on who selected in an election year. The vacancy was held for more than 400 days. We have 46 days until the next election this time.
  • Does the Senate leader have the chops to hold the GOP caucus together? One Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, has said already the process should wait. And what about the handful of GOP senators who are set to lose their re-election bids this fall? Do they vote on a nomination in a lame-duck congressional session? Is it right for them to vote, then leave office only to have the next SCOTUS justice getting a lifetime job?
  • How does McConnell justify the hypocrisy of denying one president the chance to select a justice while fast-tracking another president’s selection?

I have declared my belief in presidential prerogative. I have stated that presidents have the right to nominate their court choices. Were I to stand firmly on that principle, then Donald Trump deserves to nominate a SCOTUS justice just as much as Barack Obama did.

However, I cannot swallow the hypocrisy that Mitch McConnell exhibited in 2016 by denying Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote to succeed Antonin Scalia on the high court. McConnell squandered any moral authority on this issue.

So, I want to echo the wish expressed by Justice Ginsburg as her life slipped away from her.

Let us conduct a presidential election and then swear in the president before proceeding with a nomination battle for the Supreme Court. If the stars align properly, that president will be Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

What? Mitch says he’s wrong?

I guess hell can freeze over on occasion.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has admitted to speaking incorrectly about an issue involving former President Obama.

McConnell said erroneously that the Obama administration didn’t leave the Donald Trump administration with a pandemic response action plan.

D’oh! Turns out the former president did leave a 69-page playbook for the Trump team to use in case a pandemic were to erupt. “I was wrong,” McConnell said in a Fox News interview.

Now, it turns out that the Trump team didn’t look at it. I guess it had something to do with Barack Obama’s name on it, which I am going to presume made Donald Trump go berserk, given his irrational envy of anything associated with President Obama.

Well, it’s good to know that even the mighty Mitch McConnell can admit to making a mistake. Do not expect anything of the sort coming from Donald John Trump.

Should Democratic candidates recuse themselves?

My quest for fairness compels me to wonder aloud: Given that this blog — published by me — has insisted that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unfit to sit as a “juror” in the trial of Donald John Trump, might there be a case to be made against the four Democratic senators who are running for president?

McConnell has said he won’t be an “impartial” juror, even though he took an oath to deliver impartial justice in the Senate impeachment trial of the current president of the United States.

What about the individuals who are running for their party’s nomination to oppose Trump in the November election? Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennett have made up their minds on how they intend to vote when they get the order to cast their vote. They will vote to convict Trump. Period.

I can think of a few other Republicans as well who’ve said they have made up their minds, that they don’t need no witness testimony or evidentiary documents. Lindsey Graham? Ted Cruz? John Kennedy? Give me a break.

However, this pre-judging disease spreads across the aisle.

The four Democrats have staked out their views already. Sure, they insist on witnesses and documents. It remains to be seen whether they’ll get ’em. It’s beginning to look to me as though the fix is in. Republicans who comprise most of the 100 Senate seats aren’t likely to admit witnesses, even though they have plenty to offer.

The four contenders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, though, need to think long and hard whether they are any more qualified to serve with impartiality than the Senate majority leader who’s admitted he will do nothing of the sort.

Hey, fair is fair … right?

Ex-WH ethics guru calls McConnell a ‘perjurer’

Well now, that didn’t take long.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts told all 100 U.S. senators Thursday to raise their right hands and swear under oath to conduct “impartial justice” in the trial of Donald John Trump, president of the United States.

One of senators to swear to follow that oath is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Except, wait! He’s said many times already that he has no intention of being impartial. McConnell said he will take his cue from Trump’s legal team.

Just hours after taking the oath, former White House ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, who served President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, accused McConnell of committing an act of perjury.

Painter went on Twitter to say McConnell has contradicted himself. “This man just swore an oath saying the exact opposite,” Painter said in a tweet. “This man is a perjurer.”

Well now. Isn’t that a crime punishable with a jail sentence?

To be fair, there are a number of senators on both sides of the aisle whose statements need careful examination. However, I believe I have seen statements only by two prominent Republicans — McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham — that have declared that the senators have made up their minds. Other senators are trying to cover their rear ends by saying they intend to listen to all arguments before making up their minds.

McConnell needs to recuse himself from this proceeding. If he cannot abide by the oath he just took, then he has no business presiding over a Senate that is going to put the president of the United States on trial.

McConnell exhibits stunning lack of self-awareness

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Of all the statements, assertions, pronouncements and declarations I keep hearing while we watch this impeachment drama unfold, I keep circling back to what keeps coming out of the mouth of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican keeps hurling “partisan political” accusations at his Democratic colleagues in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. When I hear him accuse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of acting as a purely partisan politician, I find myself thinking: Dude, do you not remember your own political history? 

Of course he does!

I harken back to the Mother of All Partisan Acts when in early 2016 he declared that President Obama would not be able to select someone to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly that year; Obama sought to nominate Merrick Garland to succeed him; McConnell put the brakes on it, declaring that the president’s nominee would not get a Senate hearing in an election year.

Democrats were rightfully outraged. It was an act of supreme partisanship, just as he has continued to exhibit his partisan bona fides during the run-up to the Senate impeachment trial that has commenced.

Speaking of that … for the Senate majority leader to accuse anyone else of partisan game-playing is akin to getting a lecture on marital fidelity from, oh, you know who.

Why not witnesses now, Mr. Leader?

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Mitch McConnell’s duplicity, double-dealing, hypocrisy make me want to pull my out by its roots.

The Senate majority leader says the Senate that will put Donald Trump on trial for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power doesn’t need to hear witnesses. Democrats don’t need to call witnesses to testify before the body of 100 senators.

He wants the trial to come to a quick and predictable end. He wants the president to be acquitted of impeachment charges filed by the House of Representatives. No need to hear any more evidence, or hear from those who might have something new to add.

The double speak, duplicity and hypocrisy? In 1999, when the Senate put President Clinton on trial for obstruction of justice McConnell insisted on hearing from witnesses. Why, he was all over that one! The Senate needs to hear more evidence, said McConnell.

Hey, I don’t want a lengthy trial, either. However, the trial need not drag on too long if we can hear from a half-dozen or so key witnesses who have first-hand knowledge of Donald Trump asking Ukrainians for political help in exchange for military hardware.

It might not happen, if the majority leader has his newfound way.

Such hypocrisy.

Hearing it often doesn’t make it any easier to swallow

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

I keep hearing U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell say up front, out loud and for the record that he intends to conduct a Senate trial of Donald Trump in “coordination” with the White House.

I hear it. I believe it even less than the previous time I hear it. I keep shaking my head at the abject brazenness of what McConnell is saying.

McConnell is seeking to grease the presidential trial in Trump’s favor. He’s already got enough Republican senators in his pocket who will acquit the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. They likely will hold together when the time arrives for a vote: up or down on Donald Trump.

What continues to astound me is that McConnell is now resisting the notion of calling witnesses to testify before the Senate. He said precisely the opposite thing 20 years ago when a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, was impeached for obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury about his affair with a White House intern.

What’s more, trials cannot be considered valid, fair and impartial when the de facto “foreman” of the jury — in this case, McConnell — is working hand in glove with defendant’s legal team.

In the name of fair trial, what am I missing here? I do not get any of this. None of it makes sense. It is scrambling the eggs in my noggin.

Where is the ‘impartiality’?

Oh, how I hate playing the “both sides are wrong” card. I feel I must do so in this instance.

Republican Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate’s majority leader, says he is not going to be an “impartial juror” when the Senate commences its trial over the articles impeachment filed against Donald J. Trump.

McConnell’s comments have drawn a rebuke from fellow Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said she is “disturbed” by his approach to putting the president on trial.

Now comes the view of a senior Democratic senator, Dick Durbin, who criticizes his fellow Democrats for refusing to maintain their own impartiality.

Both sides are guilty? I suppose so.

All 100 senators are going to raise their right hands and take an oath to be impartial jurors when Chief Justice John Roberts administers the pledge. They will say “so help me, God” at the end of the oath, which gives the pledge an air of sanctimony.

Will they be loyal to that sacred oath? Have they made up their minds to convict or acquit Trump? Is there a truly impartial mind among the 100 senators who will sit in judgment of Donald Trump? Or have every one of them pre-determined the president’s guilt or innocence, determining whether he has committed impeachable offenses?

Those of us on the outside have the liberty to make these determinations prior to hearing evidence. We’re not elected public officials. Those folks have the power to remove the president, or to keep him in office. They must maintain their impartiality for as long as they are hearing the case being presented.

I worry now that the trial that’s about to commence — hopefully sooner rather than too much later — will be akin to a sideshow with senators on both sides of the great divide guilty of the same sin.